At the dawn of the 20th century, America was feeling brash and bold. Having just defeated Spain in a war that ranged from Cuba to the Philippines, it was clear that we were an emerging power. But what was that going to mean?
The 19th century idea of “Manifest Destiny,” which required that, by some sort of divine right, we should rule the Western Hemisphere had faded, but — as the Philippines showed — the temptation of American colonialism was strong.
In that context, John Hay wrote a letter to a friend. Hay began his government career as private secretary to Abraham Lincoln and at the time he wrote the letter was U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
The death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, caused by a raid by Army Delta Force operators based in Iraq, was an enormous but not fatal blow to that dangerous terrorist network. Others among the ISIS leadership are being hunted and killed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was outraged that President Trump didn’t notify Congress before the raid, though he did notify Russia. Custom, not the law or the U.S. Constitution requires notifying Congress, so she’s way off base. The sad fact is that we had to notify Russia because Russia controls the airspace our Delta guys had to fly through to get to their target.… Seguir leyendo »
The Chinese government isn’t concerned about the short-term economic effects of President Trump’s tariffs. The European Union is concerned with nothing else. For a fistful of dollars they are siding with the world’s foremost terrorist regime against the nation that has protected them since 1945.
As we will see in a moment, the EU is desperately trying to maintain its economic ties with Iran despite that fact and the events of July and August.
In early July, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — regarded by some as a moderate, as if there were such a leader in Iran — threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
The Iranian election of 2009, re-electing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was so obviously fixed that the results ignited a near-revolt that threatened the terror-sponsoring regime of the ayatollahs.
The Green Movement, led by prominent Iranians including former premier Hossein Mousavi, seriously threatened the regime that has been an implacable enemy of the United States since it came to power in 1979. The rebellion’s failure was assured by President Obama.
Instead of helping the protesters, Mr. Obama criticized them, saying that they didn’t represent “fundamental change.” He spoke meekly, saying that, “The world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was.”… Seguir leyendo »
Autocracies and other despotisms are notoriously unfaithful to their obligations under international agreements. When the Soviet Union was still around, it set the standard by evading and cheating while falsely accusing its Western counterparts of doing the same. The Soviets’ successors are following its well-trodden path. Vladimir Putin’s renewed aggression in Ukraine is but one example. Less subtle (if that’s possible) and more immediate are Iran’s conduct, in respect to President Obama’s nuclear weapons deal with it, and Turkey‘s, in regard to its agreement with the European Union on the control of immigration.
When the Soviets made deals, their violations of them were constrained only by our military power and reflexive diplomatic pressures.… Seguir leyendo »
Donald Trump says NATO is obsolete, too expensive and lacks the right makeup to deal with terrorism. He may be right, but if he wants to abandon NATO he may not get the chance because the European Union may beat him to it. It’s part of the fallout from the U.K. vote to leave the EU in the “Brexit” referendum.
The EU may cast NATO aside — not because the threat NATO faced is ended — but because the European Union’s members think it’s more important to punish Britain for Brexit than defend themselves against Russia, Iran and China.
Five days after the June 23 Brexit vote, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, released a new defense strategy plan that envisions replacing NATO with an all-EU defense structure.… Seguir leyendo »
The Islamic State, Islamic quasi-state that has conquered parts of Iraq and Syria, has threatened America with terrorist attacks and drawn us back into an Iraq war. It has done a lot more than that.
For each of the major players in the Middle East, The Islamic State, or ISIS, has presented them with a wild card they can play to better their hand. For Iran, Russia, Syria and Turkey, the Islamic State has — so far — been the means of leveraging other nations in pursuit of larger goals. In Iraq, though no longer a major player, the Islamic State has maneuvered so successfully as to become an existential threat.… Seguir leyendo »
There are so many trouble spots in the world, it is comforting to know — or at least to believe — that Saudi Arabia isn’t one of them.
Until the United States surpassed the kingdom a few months ago, Saudi Arabia was the world’s biggest producer of oil, a country of enormous wealth and the beneficiary of perhaps the largest wealth transfer in history.
It appears a stable monolith. It was untouched by the revolutionary movements of so-called “Arab Spring,” while nations such as Syria, Egypt and Libya saw their governments toppled, their economies ravaged and, in the worst case, the eruption of bloody civil war.… Seguir leyendo »